Tracken II, 2373
It was the blood curdling scream from across the settlement that gave the inhabitants of Tracken II an inkling of the nightmare they were about to be a part of. Seconds later, a deafening explosion shook everything, throwing Faye off her feet. She instinctively knew they were under attack. Really, it was a long time coming, either by the Federation or the Cardassians. Down below, they had no idea that warships and fighters had taken out their sentries guarding the colony, leaving them defenceless. But it didn’t take a genius to figure out something happened up there and that time was of the essence down here.
Fleeing the house she was raised in, that only her and her father had occupied now, Faye Calloway grabbed a rifle and went in search of her father. Instead, the first person she saw was Joey McBride, a nine year old boy she knew well. “Faye!” he cried out. “What’s going on?”
“No idea…” she replied. “Go to the safe spot. If no one comes for you in five minutes, head for the ships, do you understand?” Faye told the boy seriously. He nodded and ran off.
Faye looked around and headed in the direction of the scream and explosion. She could see smoke and flames and the growing sound of shouts was carried on the wind. As she got close she saw in the distance the familiar sight of transporter beams. Was it that Starfleet Captain come back to force them off of their home? She had heard about how their world had nearly been decimated by a biogenic weapon. If that were the case now, her people would be fleeing in ships, escaping for their lives. No, this was different.
The transport cycle finished and the fifteen year old girl’s grey-green eyes widened. She froze for a moment, having never seen them before and knowing only pictures. She had fought side-by-side her fellow Maquis (even as a teenager) against all sorts of enemies, especially Cardassians, and while there were some there to take part in these seeming festivities of theirs, it was the larger, scarier looking creatures that caused a chill to run down her spine: Jem’Hadar.
Rifle at her side, she could hear the weapons fire lashing out at people closer than she was. For the moment she was safe. Where the hell was her father?! She could hear the painful cries as people fell from undoubtedly deadly disruptor blasts. She rounded a corner and came to an abrupt stop as her eyes took in bloodied bodies. Some of their eyes were wide open in shock, as if they too hadn’t expected things to go this way. The Maquis, after all, were finally being taken seriously! People knew they meant business and they would protect their homes with their lives, and even take back what was rightfully theirs. Approaching footfalls alerted her to her precarious situation, and Faye knew she needed to get to the ships like everyone else would be trying to do. She’d look for her father there.
She ran through the maze of bodies, of people she had laughed and cried with, and felt a numbness fall over her. Whatever she did, she couldn’t stop! But what little luck she had seemed to run out temporarily as she approached another corner. She pressed herself up against the wall of the building (a town hall of sorts) and peered around the corner carefully, keeping her body out of sight. A bunch of Cardassians were there. She cursed. She turned to go back the other way when she found herself standing in front of a Cardassian Gil. He eyed her menacingly and grabbed her roughly by one arm. He pulled her against him with a strange leer. “Well, what do we have here? A juvenile freedom fighter? Let me guess, mommy and daddy taught you everything you know,” he said in a mockingly sweet voice. Faye took no time bringing her rifle up and clubbing him over the head with it. She wasn’t really able to injure him with the move, but she just needed to throw him off a bit.
The Gil stumbled backwards a little, surprise in his features. Guess he didn’t a girl had it in her to fight back, she thought. Then without another thought, she aimed the rifle and fired. The Cardassian fell dead. “Damn right they did,” she spat back, loathing in her voice, though no one was around to hear it. Faye wasted no more time checking to see if her assumption of his demise was true.
Five hundred metres of running and she was closer to the area where a few shuttles were sitting. They were older model ships that had been clobbered together with modification to make the space worthy and not terrible in a fight. In her periphery, she saw the Jem’Hadar’s path of destruction and it made her want to vomit.
Another hand reached out and grabbed her arm. She readied herself to attack but the voice that called out, “Faye!” was familiar and welcome. Her father.
“Oh gods Dad!” she sobbed as she threw herself into his arms. He wrapped his arms around her tightly.
“It’s going to be okay.” It was a hollow sentiment, but for those brief seconds it was welcome. “Come with me,” he said, brokering no argument.
Edward Calloway practically carried his daughter to the ship, and forced her inside. “Where are we going?!?” Faye shouted.
“We have to leave Faye. It’s done, we’re done. It’s over,” he replied sternly, his deep brown eyes a stark contrast to her own. She tried to protest, wanting to fight them back. The bastards had destroyed her only home and she was pissed off. But Edward, concerned she would just get herself killed, made sure she would be safe. He turned to his best friend, a tall dark haired Bajoran by the name of Kardin Jaris. “Get them to safety Jaris,” Edward said looking to the few others in the ship, including the young man that Faye had been seeing recently.
Faye was on her feet and following her father as he tried to leave the ship. “Where the hell are you going?!?”
The elder Calloway turned and grabbed his daughter strongly by the shoulders. He wasn’t trying to hurt her, but the desperation was etched in his features. “They will be here in a minute Faye! They will kill us like they did everyone else. You must get away while you can and I am going to stall them while you do.” Her face fell as she realized what he was saying. She started to shake her head, to try and make him change his mind. His hands moved to cup her face. “My beautiful girl. There is so much you can do with your life, but not if you live this life. It’s not what your mother and I wanted for you.”
“I… I don’t understand…” she replied, putting her hands on his.
“Faye…” For a moment, he seemed at a loss for words. “I need to be strong right now. I need you to promise me that you’ll make a life for yourself and leave this all behind. Those Maquis that haven’t fallen will surely land in custody as they flee and I couldn’t bear the thought of you locked away. You are so very smart and you deserve a chance to see what life can be. But you need to let me go.”
“No… please don’t go. I’ve already lost Mom, I…”
“Faye… Edward interrupted, trying to keep the pain out of his voice. “Be strong. Promise me…” He held her gaze intensely.
Faye seemed to shrink within herself. “I promise,” she whispered and then hugged him fiercely. He held her tight, running a hand over her brown hair. After a moment, she pushed away, unable to hide the tears streaming down her face. “Now go!” Faye stepped back and he nodded, leaving the small ship and not looking back.
Armed with one heck of a phaser rifle, Edward Calloway walked out into the open. Upon seeing the Cardassians approaching, he let off shot after shot until one of his opponents made their mark. From her ship, Faye watched helplessly as they lifted of. Cameron wrapped his arms around her tightly, whispering comforting words that she didn’t hear or process.
To be continued…
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